60 Main St. Renewal
The iconic entry building at Miss Porter’s School, 60 Main St., is beloved by generations of alumnae and the surrounding community. While it needed renewal to better serve modern-day life, the project team took great pains to preserve and enhance the historic character of the esteemed all-girls preparatory school’s original home.
Built in 1831 as a hotel, the building was purchased by the school in 1866. It housed the head of school’s office, staff and student support offices, student lounges, and dorm rooms. Known around campus simply as Main, it was expanded 50 years ago to accommodate a dining hall and kitchen.
This renewal project relocates a historic staircase in the original building to widen the corridor from the main entrance to the dining hall. The dining hall was renovated and expanded by 40-percent to seat 400, which enables sit-down dinners for the entire school at once. The west end enjoys floor-to-ceiling glass for an expansive view of surrounding hills and the ceremonial central campus lawn. Lounge chairs there offer a daylight-permeated hangout when the floor space isn’t required for full capacity dining.
Other improvements for student health and well-being abound. The existing kitchen and servery additions were removed and rebuilt, with the kitchen space expanded by approximately 30-percent. The servery was doubled in size to improve flow during busy mealtimes, and features a new exhibition-style design with cuisine made to order.
The building’s expansion also adds a new lower lounge and covered colonnade porch with stunning western views like the dining hall above. The lounge doubles as an art gallery and generous lobby for the community coming from across central campus. It features benches and stools that nest beneath which were constructed from a tree that was removed to make way for the addition.
O&G Industries was the construction manager for the project, which started at the conclusion of the 2019-20 school year and was completed in the spring of 2021.
Founded by Sarah Porter in 1843, Miss Porter's School is a private boarding and day school for girls in grades 9-12 in Farmington, Connecticut. Noted alumnae – or “ancients” in Porter’s lexicon – include pioneering architect Theodate Pope Riddle, First Lady Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis, and Emmy Award winning actor Barbara Babcock.